Good WWWWWWWWWWWood, Dodgers Pound Pirates

Alex Wood

Monday night’s Pirates/Dodgers match-up was kismit in the making. Before the game I wrote this article because we weren’t sure if scheduled starter Brandon McCarthy was going to be able to start after we discovered that he suffered a dislocated non-pitching shoulder injury over training in the weight room. McCarthy was originally supposed to pitch on Saturday night against the Padres but was pushed back, so the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw start on Saturday. Then Sunday night’s game against San Diego was rained out, and again we were unsure whether McCarthy could pitch tonight.

Pirates     1  5 1

Dodgers 12 15 1

WP-Wood-3-0

LP-Williams-1-2

HR-Taylor-3-GS-Puig-6

I guess we were forgetting that this is Brandon McCarthy and he lives on the disabled list. I actually think he has a three-bedroom condo there and receives his mail addressed to: Brandon McCarthy care of the disabled list. So it was to nobody’s surprise when we saw the club announce that he was placed on the DL with that shoulder injury and Adam Liberatore recalled from Oklahoma City.

So Alex Wood got the start, and man I’m glad he did. Wood was dominating, pitching five innings and allowing just two hits while striking out 11. Wood’s career best for strikeouts is 13 and this is his fifth 10+ strikeout game in his career. The Dodgers scored 10 runs before the fifth inning against opposing starter Trevor Williams and pounded the Pirates 12-1.

It’s quite joyful to watch the Dodgers torment a moribund club like the Pirates. The Bucs are not the same club we saw reach the playoffs in three consecutive seasons from 2013-2015. This team can’t hit, can’t field and one of their offensive stars Starling Marte was suspended for using PEDs and violating Major league baseball’s drug policy. More shocking is the decline of former MVP Andrew McCutchen. We’ve seen his batting and defensive skills take a nose dive over the last couple of years and as he goes so do the Pirates.

The Dodgers scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a grand slam home run from Chris Taylor. Andrew Toles and Corey Seager both reached on soft little grounders back to the box with Williams making a throwing error on Seager’s dribbler. After Justin Turner flied out to McCutchen, Cody Bellinger walked to load the bases. Joc Pederson’s line drive single to right scored the first run. Then Taylor hit the Dodger’s third slam of the season to put the Dodgers up 5-0. Then one out later Yasiel Puig got into the fun with a monster solo home run, (his sixth of the season) and the Dodgers had an early 6-0 lead.

The boys in blue added two more in the third, fourth, and seventh frames. Joc and Taylor both single and Yasmani Grandal’s double down the line plated two runs and the Dodgers went ahead 8-0. Consecutive singles from Toles, Seager, and Turner brought home another run, and Joc doubled in Seager to put the Dodgers up 10-0. The Dodgers added another pair of runs in the seventh when Kike Hernandez doubled off the third base bag with the bases loaded. That’s the kind of night the Dodgers had. They’ve now scored 44 runs in their last five games. They haven’t had a stretch like that since 2009 apparently.

Joc had three hits tonight, and Toles, Seager, and Taylor each had two. The Dodgers were 5 for 11 with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers had 5 extra-base hits of their 15 on the night.

Wood is a good pitcher, but of course he can’t pitch past the fifth inning, so the bullpen had to come in. Ross Stripling relieved him in the sixth and proceeded to ruin the shutout by allowing a run to the Buccos. Stripling righted the ship tossing a scoreless seventh inning preserving the 9-run Dodger lead. Stripling tossed the eighth inning before handing the ball to newly called up Adam Liberatore to finish the game. On the funny side former Dodger Josh Lindblom (remember him?) made 87 pitches in relief for the Pirates. Poor guy.

The Dodgers now improve to 18-14 on the season and move to within 2 games of first place Colorado in the NL West. The Rockies and Cubs were rained out tonight in Denver, so the Dodgers gain a half game in the standings.

It looks like Julio Urias is going to pitch on Tuesday evening in game 2. The Pirates will counter with right hander Ian Nova, who’s been there ace this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM. The Dodgers will look for their fourth straight win.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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41 thoughts on “Good WWWWWWWWWWWood, Dodgers Pound Pirates

  1. This was hilarious.

    Our young bats did great tonight, and I was happy to see Ross get some innings in as well to build his confidence back up after his last few “meh” outings. We may have something here, with Alex Wood pitching the first half and Stripling pitching the second half.

    1. Woo hoo, great win. Convincing on all levels, except the Stripling level. Pitching that guy is always a crap shoot. Very happy to see Wood looking so sharp. He was my choice for the 5th starter before the season and now it’s come to pass. Knock on wood that we don’t lose anymore pitchers. McCarthy to the DL is not what we want or need. Las Vegas must be giving odds on him at this point.

      Just continue to keep Utley out of the starting lineup, keep Taylor and Bellinger in there, and see what the situation with Agone brings. They really need the young energy to propel this team.

      1. Agree about youth. The old guys we have seem to get hurt, McKazarthy, or are just done, Utley.

        Bellinger 0fer. The bum. Send him down.

        Taylor has been a nice surprise.

        What did Squirrel do? Any passed balls? Any passed nuts?

        It’s raining, cold and windy here at Ojo. Figures. Waters are warm though.

        It’s good to play lousy teams. We’re better than the lousy teams.

        Wood: 88 pitches to get through 5? Against a lousy team, shouldn’t that get 6?

        Puig is good. He sells tickets.

          1. That is a high pitch count for 5 innings. The kid is not Kershaw and he can’t throw 100 pitches yet, so they pulled him. With a 10-0 lead, it was a no brainer. But If he could have gone 1 more, it would have been nice. Stripling actually did a good job except for his first inning, and he kept Roberts from having to go deep into the pen.

        1. Reason for the high pitch count was a couple of hitters fouled a lot of pitches off. Harrison when he led off the game saw 9 pitches in that at bat, and he had an 8 pitch AB later in the game. I also thought they could have gotten 6 out of the guy.

        2. Squirrel got a double on a ball that was hit about as hard as a limp biscuit. Had a single later in the game. No passed balls, but he did hit into a double play….go figure.

      2. Wait! What? What do you mean “Woo Hoo!?” What are you celebrating?

        Didn’t you say someone needed to get some dynamite and blow this team up? That was you, wasn’t it?

    2. But wait! That’s terrible! This team needs more “workhorses!” There’s something wrong if you don’t have your starting pitcher go at least seven or three times through the batting order. That’s orthodoxy. That’s the way it’s always been.

      Don’t look, but the Dodgers currently have the best pitching staff in baseball.

        1. Take your Valium and calm down patch. It’s called PER and I think we’re 9th.

          Obviously I have my own way of looking at things. You play a bad team you should move through the lineup with efficiency. We can’t get a starter through 6 against the Pirates, what’s going to happen when play teams that can actually hit?

  2. We got Wood last night, even MJ got wood last night.

    With all the young guys hitting so well, the FO will be sending Roberts the word to start giving them rest or get the platooning cranked up. Bellinger, Taylor and anyone else hitting obviously need to take a seat and get some rest. Grandal really needs to go, his lack of solid contact earned him a double last night. He’s really bad, never understood the wood that some moron (see what I did there?) sees in him, maybe it is just one imprisoned felony catcher standing up (or bending over) for a MLB catcher.

    1. I have no idea what True Blue was trying to say through his silly innuendos (I stopped using “wood” jokes in High School) and odd positioning (does he imply the Front Office isn’t trying to win?)

      Don’t try to be too funny.

      1. “I have no idea what True Blue was trying to say through his silly innuendos”

        A long time ago apparently Timmons successfully fought a criminal prosecution. His obsessive fans here consistently make reference to it, in this case crudely. Not worth the response.

        1. Just for the record, he was convicted, and it was a heinous crime. Not being God, I don’t really know if he was guilty or not, but I couldn’t live with myself if people just thought I was capable of that, I don’t know how he does.

          1. I don’t know the details. I don’t really care to, but there was mention of him successfully fighting it. Not that any of it should be really relevant for baseball blog discussion or used for personal attacks. Kind of classless if you ask me. Badger has shared his family experience with the justice system. He’s been open about it. I wouldn’t use that to insult him or discredit him.

            I hope this doesn’t start a further discussion on the topic, which seems a bit of a tawdry distraction from talking baseball.

          2. If you don’t know the details then maybe you should read up about it, or don’t talk about it. He was convicted, lost his appeal and served his time. 20 years ago he talked about the book he was writing. Mountainmover. At first I thought it was the story of how he beat the wrap. 20 years later it’s still just a story being thrown around the internet. I was going to write the story of our family’s run in with lying cops and a corrupt justice system. I have since found out the story has been written a million times and is rewritten several times a day in courtrooms across America. We aren’t unique by any stretch. Neither is Timmons. Guys like him are locked up everywhere.

            I’m a passionate progressive patch. I don’t hate anyone. I’ll leave that to the fear mongering groups.

          3. I was really hoping you wouldn’t go there, which is why I included the brief epilogue saying that I hope the conversation wouldn’t continue, because I knew you would do this.

            You just couldn’t help yourself. You have no self control. You are consumed by your hatred. You marinate in it. It drives you. It controls you. You are a slave to it.

            Stop promulgating this delusion that you are above it .

          4. I didn’t bring it up. patch did. You don’t want it talked about, don’t talk about it.

  3. Nice game for the team. Cody Bellinger is going to have ofers in his career, and last night he had one. No big deal. I was encouraged by both Joc and Puig’s AB’s. Taylor should be playing everyday, Kike is no SS. Good news is that Seager was pulled simply for some rest, although why a 23 year old requires rest is beyond me…..I am the one who needs naps. Wood did a great job and even showed some Kershaw like emotion out there. He really was irritated when he threw a pitch that missed. Orel and Joe were talking about the exit speed statcast, and the shot for a double that Grandal hit was 50MPH, what? One of Taylors was 110. Stripling, when he has his stuff working, which it was not in his first inning of work, can really bring some nasty stuff. Pittsburgh has 9 rookies on it’s roster right now. By the way, I wonder if the poster who kept saying we should trade for McCutcheon thinks so now.

    1. I threw that out there. I also mentioned Braun and Matt Kemp. Any one of them is a better choice than SVS or Kike. An even better choice turned out to be Bellinger. I didn’t think they would start his clock this early. Goes against everything FAZ stands or bends over for… Damn, there’s that dangling preposition again…

      1. You can dangle prepositions following a word that starts with wh – like “wtf did you do that for?” or you can strand them with ……. like you just did.

        I’m off to the infinitive phrase pool. Those are hard to come by…….

      2. Jonah

        I don’t think you were the only one, and really, some baseball people thought, that Cutch just might come out of it.

        I don’t think he will doing much on that team, because why would a pitcher pitch to Cutch, with all those rookies on the team.

    2. Michael

      They said the trainer talked to Corey, and he hasn’t been himself, maybe he has an issue , we don’t know about.

      But I was glad to see Roberts rest Corey, with such a big lead.

      Because something doesn’t seem quite right with Corey.

      1. According to Roberts it was simply for rest, maybe he has some sort of virus or something, but even Orel and Joe said it was nothing….guess we will find out later.

  4. Meanwhile gang, down on the farm, OKC wins 6-5 with reliever Joe Broussard picking up the W. Trayce had 2 hits and an RBI and raised his average to .123. Oaks started the game and went 5 2/3rds and gave up 5 runs. Broussard went 1 1/3rd. Morrow got his 4th save with 1 1/3rd scoreless. Drew Maggi, who I admit I have never heard of went 3-4 with a 2B and RBI and is now hitting .533. Okoye Dickson’s slide continues and he is down to .289. Calhoun had 2 hits and got his average back over .300.

  5. At Tulsa, the Drillers down 3-0 scored a run in the 7th and 8 in the 8th to win 9-3, and they did it with only 6 hits. There were also 5 walks and 3 errors that contributed to the offense. Garlick, and Sawyer hit HR’s. Rios had 2 hits and a RBI and raised his average to .361. Copping got the win and Kowalczyk, we will just call him eye chart, closed it out.

  6. Dave Cameron on Alex Wood’s return to quality:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/welcome-back-again-alex-wood/

    The money, overly rosy, paragraph:
    Wood has struck out 30 of the 84 batters since rejoining the rotation, including 11 strikeouts in his start against Pittsburgh last night. He’s walked just one batter in each of those four starts (one of them intentionally), so his 30/4 K/BB ratio shows how well he’s owned the strike zone. But his dominance goes beyond even that level, as 32 of the 50 batters to put the ball in play against him during that span have hit the ball on the ground. You almost never see a pitcher combine a better than 30% strikeout rate with a 60% ground ball rate, but during these last four starts, Wood’s at a 36% strikeout rate and a 64% groundball rate.

    That is Dallas Keuchel‘s groundball ways combined with Chris Sale‘s control of the strike zone. Those are good things to have, and insanely good things to have simultaneously.

  7. Wood has been surprising. Can he keep it going?

    And Michael’s point about pitch count was the point I was making. This was the Pirates, who kinda suck. 88 pitches isn’t very many for a starter, why was he pulled? Are we worried he’s another tender armed sissy pants?

    Squirrel doinked a double and got another notch on his GIDP belt. He deserves an atta rodent for that performance.

    1. I think Roberts pulled him because it was 10-0 and he wanted Stripling to get some work. He wasn’t tired or anything and no blisters………………The squirrel is well, the squirrel…he did hit his single pretty hard…

  8. Stripling could have pitched the 7th

    The Pirates are like 23rd in hitting and 25th in slugging. Throw them strikes, especially with a lead. 88 should get the team 6 against the Pirates. I don’t mean for that to sound like a strong critique, it’s more a question. If he was dealing, why can’t he go 7 against this team?

    1. Badger

      That is true, the Pirates are sure not the same team.

      It felt like we were playing a minor league team.

      1. They’re in trouble. No, they don’t look at all like the team of a few years ago. It could change if McCutchen could get going, but with Marte gone an Cutch a shadow of his former self, that team suddenly looks easy to pitch to.

    2. that would be Wood there Badger, Stripling pitched the 6th 7th and 8th with Liberatore doing the 9th.

  9. It never stops…
    The Dodgers announced that they’ve claimed left-hander Justin Marks off waivers from the Rays and optioned him to Triple-A. Outfielder Andre Ethier was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

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